It is considered as Jack’s greatest coup, the name he gave to his high-quality product—”Old No. 7″. Apparently, nobody knows why. The official historian at the Jack Daniel Distillery today says it’s the most often asked question during factory tours.
Imagination has led to many a theories that have been advanced. Some interesting ones are that Jack had seven girlfriends, Jack believed the number seven was lucky, Jack was honoring a merchant friend who owned seven stores that distributed Jack’s liquor and Jack misplaced a batch of whiskey for seven years and, upon finding it, labeled it “Old No. 7.”
None of these stories, however, makes as much sense as the plain and simple explanation from Jack Daniel biographer Peter Krass. What really happened was that, Jack was originally assigned a district tax assessment number of 7. But when the IRS consolidated districts within Tennessee, they arbitrarily reassigned him the number 16.
Jack didn’t want to confuse his loyal consumers, and he certainly didn’t want to bend to the government, so he began labeling his bottles “Old No. 7.” More than 125 years later, this act of defiance still makes his labels stand out.
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